I don’t normally link to press releases, since 99% of them are fairly worthless (sorry PR people!)
But this one is interesting. Here’s the headline:
“The World’s Leading Sustainable Banks Announce Major New Commitment”
These banks style themselves as both sustainable and crisis-resistant. I wonder how accurate this is.
Here’s the list:
Alternative Bank ABS, Switzerland, www.abs.ch
Banca Popolare Etica, Italy, www.bancaetica.com
Banex, Banco del Exito, Nicaragua, www.banex.com
BRAC Bank and BRAC Microfinance Programme, Bangladesh, www.brac.net and www.bracbank.com
GLS Bank, Germany, www.gls.de
Merkur Bank, Denmark, www.merkurbank.dk
Mibanco, Banco de la Microempresa, Peru, www.mibanco.com.pe
New Resource Bank, United States, www.newresourcebank.com
ShoreBank Corporation, United States, www.shorebankcorp.com
Triodos Bank, The Netherlands, www.triodos.com
XacBank, Mongolia, www.xacbank.com
To qualify for membership, each institution has to meet three criteria:
– Independent and licensed with a focus on retail customers
– Minimum balance sheet of $100 million
– Committed to responsible financing and the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit
Are these banks enough?
Clearly we need bigger ones too, for project and general business finance that encourages jobs on a large scale.
But given that some commentators believe that banks, like the military-industrial complex firms of the 1950s, have ‘bought’ the political process (particularly in the US), and that we don’t need super-banks, how big do we need them to be?
A question I don’t know the answer to. But one where clearly we need much more debate.